Island of Gods : Visiting Bali, Indonesia

My partner, Nic, and I travelled to Bali, Indonesia – The Island of Gods – this February for ten days of inspiration, food and surf. I arranged the trip as a surprise getaway; for no real reason besides taking away the opportunity for my Cancerian home-body partner to say ‘no’, and the flights were on sale. I was not taking the Leap Year opportunity to propose, contrary to popular belief.

It was my first time visiting the island, despite it being a short five-and-a-half hour flight away from Sydney and it being the go to destination for most Australians. The latter was the main reason I’d been putting it off (I’m not one for touristic resorts and party holiday destinations), but with a couple of artist friends (the very talented, Mia Taninaka; and prolific multidisciplinary artist,Beastman) choosing to call the place home, I started to get curious.

The track leading to our home stay in Penestanan Village, Ubud.

The track leading to our home stay in Penestanan Village, Ubud.

Ubud and Surrounds

We spent the first half of our trip based in a villa in the rice-fields just outside of Ubud, near Penestanan Village. Ubud is a beautiful labyrinth of artisans, food and yoga retreats; and although the small, windy streets are busy with scooters and motorcycles, there’s always a little sanctuary not too far away. With Galungan just past (the Balinese holiday celebrating the victory of dharma over adharma), the streets are lined with Penjor, and it really does feel like an Island of Gods. The offerings, shrines and ornate temples express the Balinese Hindus dedication to their spiritual practices, traditions and ritual.

Balinese woman with a coconut, at her home in a small village near Ubud.

Balinese woman with a coconut, at her home in a small village near Ubud.

Faces of Bali, Indonesia

Faces of Bali, Indonesia

In Disguise

In Disguise

The Island of Gods

Cactus at Lodtundah Village, near Ubud

The Island of Gods

By the Ayung River near Ubud

The Island of Gods

Loose portrait sketch

The Island of Gods

Blahkiuh

The Island of Gods

Widower living by the rice fields with her dog, basket weaving

The Island of Gods

Penjor lining the streets after Galungan, the Balinese holiday celebrating the victory of Dharma over adharma.

The Island of Gods

Rice fields and mountains

The Island of Gods

Balinese Gardens

The Island of Gods

Bicycle near the Ayung River

The Island of Gods

Sketching by the pool while I (try to) recover from ‘Bali Belly’

The Island of Gods

Butterfly study

Around Canggu

The second half of our trip was based in Canggu, on the south coast of the island, not far from Seminyak. We spent our time exploring the black sandy beaches and surfing, at Echo Beach, and Batu Bolong; and eating (my appetite returned after suffering for a few days with the notorious ‘Bali Belly’).

The Island of Gods

Breakfast at Peloton, Berawa, Canggu

The Island of Gods

Perfect little waves at Pererenan Beach

The Island of Gods

Pererenan Beach

Coconuts

Coconuts

The Island of Gods

Batu Bolong Beach

The Island of Gods

Batu Bolong Beach

The Island of Gods

Colour study of the black sand beaches

The Island of Gods

Black sand, white water at Echo Beach

The Island of Gods

Echo Beach

The Island of Gods : Top Three

  1. Mountain biking through small mountain villages and across rice fields, north of Ubud with Banyan Tree Tours(just remember to have a big breakfast, and be careful what you eat along the way! Trust me.).
  2. Surfing at Batu Bolong Beach – a great little break for beginners.
  3. Eating – my favourites were Sage in Ubud, Mamasan in Seminyak, and Peloton in Canggu.

 

See more photos on my VSCO Grid.


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